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  • Read Receipt NO!
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  • You cannot enable request read receipt separate from send read receipts.   If you want to be able to request receipts, you have to allow receipts to be sent in response to requests.
  • The options are by organization and are: suppress all read receipts,  send automatic receipts (can limit where automatic ones go by domain), or prompt before sending a read receipt.
  • If it is set to prompt, you get a prompt every time you finish reading a mail file with a read receipts requested.   If you open the same mail again, you will get the prompt again every time.
  • There is no per-user option to control read receipts, so if you turn it on, everyone in the organization will get the prompts.
  • Of note, by making use of the organizations feature in Google Apps, we can turn this on for a suborganization, but that adds another whole headache of maintaining the suborgs.   The other point is that all that would do is allow those in those suborgs to send and receive read receipts and they would be unlikely to get a read receipt back from anyone.
  • Read receipts are very unreliable, most mail clients have as their default, ignore them or ask the user and I suspect most people say no (I sure don't want anyone knowing when or if I read mail) and in addition many mail servers strip these requests.  Any mail system that just silently sent back read receipts would be considered an invasion of privacy by many.

One other note came via the ISO with respect to read receipts being a potential leakage of protected information:


We have consulted with the University System Information Security department.   If we were providing email for administrative use separately from students, it might be a different case, but when we include students the potential of private information leakage puts us in a different place. We just have no grounds to widely collect this information from students and it would be ultimately a liability  for us to have this information on file.   There is no granularity in this option for including only non-student IDs.
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